School Board’s President Hopes for Unity in ‘98

Members of the Westminster School District board were divided on many key issues in 1997, but Lynn Covey, who was selected last week as board president, said she hopes 1998 will bring more unity to the panel.

“The board may have had its situations in the past, but I believe we’re on our way to the past being the past,” said Covey, 48.

Among other issues, the board was bitterly divided over the decision in May to buy out the contract of then-Supt. Gail Wickstrom. Covey and Trustee Nancy L. Blumenthal supported Wickstrom, but the board’s majority--Michael J. Verrengia, Sondra Rinker and Helena Rutkowski--cited “philosophical differences” in defense of the buyout.

The board has often been split down the same 3-2 lines, but Covey said she sees improvement, citing her unanimous support to succeed Verrengia as president.

“We’ve got lot of new players [including new Supt. Barbara DeHart] and a lot of positive things ahead of us,” Covey said.